Bill O’Reilly Constructs Imaginary Intelligence ‘Wall’

Demonstrating his trademark ability to move effortlessly from belligerent grandstanding to completely fictive political commentary, Fox star Bill O’Reilly claimed on April 22 that current and former attorney generals “Eric Holder and Janet Reno put the wall up between the FBI and the CIA, which led to the 9/11 attacks.” But Media Matters points out (4/23/09):

in fact, the 1995 Justice Department memo and guidelines to which O’Reilly referred only addressed communications among divisions within DOJ, clarifying longtime unwritten restrictions on the sharing of information between the FBI’s intelligence arm and DOJ’s criminal division. They had no impact on communications between the FBI and the CIA, the Department of Defense, or any other agencies.

And “O’Reilly should know this,” considering that, “when he previously adopted the ‘wall’ falsehood, 9/11 Commission member and former Sen. Slade Gorton (R-WA) told O’Reilly that the policies in question made ‘no limitation on any intelligence agency sharing anything with any other intelligence agency at all.'” But O’Reilly has never been one to let simple reality get in the way of what he chooses to know or not know.